CABLE KNIT SWEATER

 

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The cable knit sweater has arisen a long way from its salted, nautical beginnings at the turn of the 19th century when it was established as a jagged attire for seafarers and fishermen. The cable knitting technique, which produces the sweater's distinct, raised patterns is as practical as it is attractive. The weave is more hard-wearing and shielding than standard knitted fabric, and in its original embodiment, when it was woven from raw wool with the natural lanolin oils preserved, it was virtually water-resistant.

The cables appeal, nonetheless, stretch well beyond practicality alone. Its history is entrenched in traditional stories, too, with claims that the numerous irregularities and patterns of the knit could be understood. Basket-knit segments, for example, were said to signify a fisherman's basket, as a good luck charm for an abundant haul, while differences in the knit were used to distinguish different clans or families, possibly making it easier to identify the body of a drowned sailor? An idea now thought, however, to have risen from a literary misinterpretation.

The cable knit jumper had made its switch from work to leisure by the early-to-mid 20th century, with the style becoming regularly connected with gentlemanly hobbies like golf and cricket. From then onwards, the cable knit took its place as a casual menswear staple, related with the preppy, Ivy League style, something which was intensified by Ralph Lauren's passionate embracing of the cable knit as part of his Polo collection where, along with the polo shirt, it has endured a key element season after season.

Don't be. Become.

 

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A U T H O R
Donald Anthony

I M A G E 

 Donald Anthony

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